Monday, May 31, 2010

Bikini Bashful

Well, I guess since I've put it out to the universe that one of my 2010 goals is to wear a bikini in Maui, I suppose I have to go find myself one. Time is running out and I'm definitely crapping myself because the good old bod just isn't where I'd like it to be to feel good about exposing it. I know, I know....people always say that there are bodies out on the beach that shouldn't be allowed to be viewed in public and no one will even notice. I'm a bashful little Asian lady though! I was joking around that when I see people I'm going to sidle up to them from an angle, so I look slimmer. Ha ha!

I was checking out some styles and I think something like the pic above is what I'm looking for...a slightly higher cut bottom to hide the stomach pooch, a top that is fuller to lift those 40 year old boobies so they're as perky as a teenager's. I was going to jam out and wear my tankini...but that's kinda cheating so I'm gonna go for the gusto - midriff must be bared, dammit! I kinda like the skirt on this one too, as it'll hide that nasty difficult area where my chub rub is. And - for those who know me well - did you notice that it's not black? I always wear black so I'm breaking out of my comfort zone. Well, that and I'm hoping the pattern might draw people's eyes away from my jiggling belly.

In a teeny tiny way I'm kind of excited - it might be liberating and I'm hoping it will push me past my insecurities. Kind of like jumping out of a plane to kill a fear of heights, right?

And no - I will not be posting pictures! In fact, no pictures will be taken of this event...y'all are just gonna have to take my word for it. Three more weeks to go to get myself in shape!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

18K - Is Gin the Secret?

Last night when Hubs got home from playing ice hockey, he opened the car door and let out a huge groan...I guess he got tangled up with some other guy and they both went down and he pulled his lower back. Gah! Poor fella. So needless to say, I was on my own again for my run. For today's long run, I decided to head downtown as Hubs had some stuff to do plus the local boat race was on which was right on my running route.

For some reason I was ravenous this morning - I woke up at 3am absolutely starving so had to actually get up and get a snack, and then woke up at 8am dying of hunger...that gnawing, dizzy kind of hungry. Weird, as I'd eaten a good dinner last night. This has happened a lot recently so I went to the doctor to get it checked out and my sugars are fine, so the doctor thought that maybe I just burned off my food faster so needed to eat more. I was though uhhh...I seem to have plenty of extra fat reserves ready for the burning, why can't I burn that!! Sigh.

Anyways, I was worried about my blood sugar dipping too low, so I decided to test out eating some whole grain toast slathered with nutella in addition to my normal banana as pre-race fuel. I grabbed a Jet Blackberry flavoured Gu (extra caffeine in this bad boy - and not bad tasting, kinda like jam) to take at the halfway point.

It was incredibly windy downtown today, perfect conditions for a boat race but not so hot for running. It was hard to push through the wind, but overall I felt great - my feet were light and my splits were on target. I stopped a few times to check out the boats - tons of people were out so I was weaving and bobbing a lot to get around people. My right knee started aching around the 12K point though (I will admit, I've been bad and not been doing my exercises) so I had to really slow it down and take some walk breaks, which you can see from my splits:

1K: 6:05
2K: 6:24
3K: 6:04
4k: 5:54
5K: 6:07
6K: 6:08
7K: 6:35
8K: 6:12
9K: 6:02
10K: 6:18
11K: 6:17
12K: 6:42
13K: 7:02
14K: 6:30
15K: 7:12
16K: 6:33
17K: 6:55
18K: 6:51

Average pace was 6:26 and 1022 calories burned! Woot. That hopefully will make up for some of my alcoholic indiscretions *ahem* over the past few days. I thought today's run was going to be a repeat of the 16K shite-fest, but it was one of my better ones of late. Was the toast/nutella combo to credit? Maybe not running for the last two days? The copious amounts of gin I consumed? Who knows...but I'm definitely going to do the toast/nutella combo in the future...I might leave the gin out though...maybe. Heh.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Back on the Wagon

After the lovely long weekend, I headed off to the Loops Tuesday morning (Kamloops for those not in BC) for a work conference. I just got back tonight and I gotta say...I am EXHAUSTED. While I'm really thankful that I had the opportunity to go to this event, they really are a lot of work as you have to be "on" all the time esp. as there were a lot of receptions and evening events. I'm such a homebody too, that being out of my routine really throws me off. I had a headache every day as I wasn't drinking a whole lot of water, didn't sleep that well, and while I didn't eat badly, it was stuff that had dairy or eggs or other nasties that I try to avoid. Annnnnd....well, let's just say that there was a lot of after conference events that involved a lot of alcohol, in particular gin (yum). So...maybe some of it was self induced but it's part of the job to network, right? Right?? I did get a run in Wednesday morning though as I took my gear with me - so yay me. So next week is going to be a clean slate and I'm back on the wagon. Hopefully the lack of sleep and excessive alcohol intake won't kill my run tomorrow - 18K. Stay tuned!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Chicken Arms and Chub Rub

The other day I was at home getting ready for work and lifted my arm up when doing my hair. I must have moved my arm just so...and I felt the dreaded bat wing flap, swinging in the breeze. I stood there and stared at it and thought hmmm....I think because of my focus on the marathon training/cardio, I've ignored any kind of weight training or lifting. I've noticed my core has been weak as well as I struggle when we're working on abs or sit ups at bootcamp.

When I did Body for Life years ago when I was trying to get in shape for my wedding, I did way less cardio (only 20 mins HIIT) and a lot of weight work and leaned out significantly even though I'm running a lot more now. I'm actually finding it really hard to lean out even though I'm running so much - that inner thigh chub rub is really kicking into high gear. Building muscle is so important for calorie burn and overall body shape so I'm going to start incorporating some more lifting and core work, likely on Sundays and Thursdays. I started yesterday with the following routine with pyramid sets using 15, 12 and 10 lb weights (I warmed up with a 20 HIIT session on the stationery bike):

- bicep curls
- normal pushups
- overhead tricep curls
- tricep pushups
- shoulder press

My arms are sooooo sore right now! My triceps are achhhing. I think overall it will help with running because stronger arms and core will help with my posture and endurance...and there's only a month more to go until I have to don that bikini in Maui...

Saturday, May 22, 2010

14K - Me Likey

Wheee - the long weekend is finally here! And the weather is supposed to be great so even better. I woke up at around 6am this morning, peeked outside and went back to bed for a bit longer. It was gorgeous out but I felt really, really tired from Friday's bootcamp so thought a bit more sleep would be good as I didn't want a repeat of last week. We had a super kickass bootcamp class Friday morning (thanks Christina!) with lots of running, sprints, squats/lunges and a ton of killer hillwork. There was this little section that is super steep and we must have gone up and down it 6 times and then at the very end she capped it off with wall sits. I'm surprised I still have legs, rather than just burnt little black stumps. Whew.

I ended up getting up around 9am and dragged my crickety body out of bed - my left shoulder has been giving me no end of trouble. It's been so incredibly achy, it actually wakes me up at night and my arm and hand ache as well. I saw my RMT yesterday and she suggested that maybe I get an X-ray to see if I might have arthritis since nothing seems to have been helping. Oh the joys of getting older! I popped an Advil for the shoulder, got changed, downed a banana and some Gu Chomps and we were on our way. Hubs is doing much better so I have my running partner back (yay!).

We went to a popular trail that is fantastic for training - nice soft chip, with kilometre markers and a perfect 10K loop around a lake. I felt pretty good the whole run, I didn't get that "OMG, I just want to die" feeling like I had last week and ran the 14K without stopping. At the last four kilometres I was in this total zone where I felt I could run forever and just hauled ass - what a total difference from last week. Here are my splits before my Garmin lost its signal at the 9K mark (not sure why):

1K: 6:31
2K: 6:05
3K: 5:50
4K: 6:04
5K: 5:54
6K: 6:10
7K: 5:57
8K: 5:48
9K: 5:40

I think my last few kms were probably around the 5:30 mark as I was definitely running faster than I was at the beginning. So I'm feeling pretty happy as I was feeling down last week about my pitiful performance. Great way to end my first month of marathon training!

Now for some R&R! Plans include a birthday party tonight, Ironman 2, dinner with Hubs and hunkering down with the LOST finale on Sunday (ZOMG, how is this going to end?!) and spending some quality time with my favourite anti-terrorist cutie on the Jack Bauer Power Hour (maybe Tony might come back and save Jack? maybe?). I love long weekends!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Spirit of the Marathon

Whenever I start doubting myself and that I'm crazy to even attempt a marathon, I watch this clip from the movie, Spirit of the Marathon. I saw this years ago in a movie theatre during the previews, and I remember thinking wow...maybe one day I might try. I think that was the first time the seed was planted that running the marathon was something that I wanted to accomplish. Fast forward to last year when I was training for the half and came across a copy of this movie in a running store. I snatched it up and watched it a few nights before the race and I thought if I make it through the half in one piece, I'm going for it - so here I am.

Every time I watch this , it renews my resolve to see this through to the end. The part that really hits home is Dick Beardsley's comment "When you cross that finish line, no matter how slow or how fast, it will change your life forever." To keep my motivation up (especially after my 16K debacle), I'm going to watch this clip every week after my long run as a reminder of what my end goal be a marathoner.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Did Someone Say Nutella?

As I progress through my training, I'm starting to think more about what my nutrition will be for my long runs and for the actual marathon. I know the big day is still months away, but I'd like to start experimenting with my routine to see what works best for me. I don't want to try anything new on race day and risk any GI issues as I've read horror stories of people barfing or feeling sick the whole race...your body is already going through enough without throwing something new at it on race day!

I generally don't eat much before a workout, as I tend to get cramps really easily, even from drinking water. Normally my pre-run routine is a banana smeared with a whole lotta Nutella...yes, you read that right! Nutella, Heaven in a Jar. I'd read on a running site that some people basically down a spoonful before a run as it has a good balance of carbs and fats to carry you through a run. If running a marathon means I can down Nutella by the spoonful, I'm all over that action! I'm going to experiment with something that might stick with me a bit longer though - maybe a half bagel and Nutella...42K is a long way to go on just a nanner.

As for nutrition during the race, for the half marathon I ran last year I took a full gel 15 minutes before the race and then another gel at the 7K and 14K points. That seemed to work well as I was able to keep my energy up and was able to run a negative split (for the non-runners - a faster second half than the first half of the run). I think I'm going to try a full gel every 6K and experiment with electrolyte tablets such as Nuun, eLoad or maybe salt pills as my distances build up on my training runs. The last thing I need is to have my race end because of leg cramps!

Now water...that's a big question mark for me. Do I carry water or do I rely on aid stations? I currently have a water belt which I'm not thrilled I'm running, I can feel it bouncing up and down and it's really constricting around my waist so might result in chafing on race day. I've tried a handheld water bottle but I find it throws off my gait. I'd heard of a new belt called the Nathan Muse that I'm thinking of getting as it's designed for women's bodies so sits lower and doesn't bounce around:

I haven't heard any reviews yet but it has pockets to hold gels, etc. The other belt I've heard good things about is this one, called the Spibelt:

Apparently this little beast carries a ton of stuff and doesn't bounce around either. Obviously it won't carry a water bottle, so it might be more something that I'd use on race day and just rely on the aid stations. Decisions, decisions....water, no water? Suggestions or comments on fueling are welcome...

Monday, May 17, 2010


This picture pretty much perfectly described what I've been feeling like - exhausted. For some odd reason, I've been really busy over the last while with lots of social events (believe me, I'm not complaining - I'm grateful I have wonderful friends), appointments and general busy-ness that comes with the nicer weather. I think that combined with my early morning workouts and long runs has me a bit burnt out. I was feeling a bit McSurly today (what my husband calls me when I'm cranky) and not really feeling myself. My BFF R. and I were both feeling the same way so we were commiserating after work today. Bleh.

Looking for a little bit of a lift, I thought I would check out a few blogs. Marlene from Mission to a(nother) Marathon ran her third full marathon on Sunday and did it in under four hours....3:58:56 to be exact! I was following her run yesterday so knew she had made her sub-4 hour goal so was itching to read her race report (which is still up, for those of you who are interested).

Well, I gotta tell ya - I was in tears the whole way through. I've followed her for awhile now and she totally inspires me. I've watched her progress from running a few kilometres on the treadmill to a marathon monster, smashing her goals along the way. The part that really got me choked up is that at the beginning of the race she wrote the word "Believe" on her hand with a black Sharpie, and she'd look at it when things got tough in the last few kilometres. Now how cool is that? I think I may just steal this trick.

Marlene - you rock.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

16K - H-E-Double Hockey Sticks

I survived. You know those days when nothing goes your way? I was having one of those kinda days for my run. My first bit of bad luck was Hubs injured his back pretty badly yesterday working out...he was doing pushups, got up and his neck felt stiff. By the end of yesterday, he couldn't turn his neck so this morning I scooted him off to my chiropractor. This of course meant that my running partner was out of commission and I'd have to run on my own. Wah. I really enjoy our runs together so I was kind of bummed.

I got dressed, and I suppose because the last few weeks we were running at 6am I thought it was going to be chilly. Today I started my run around 8:45am, totally overdressed - I had on capri tights, a short sleeved techical shirt and a light vest. Within the first 2K I was boiling hot and getting dehydrated fast as I could feel a headache coming on. I kept going and got to around 6K and thought eff this crap, I'm going to go home and run on the treadmill for the remaining 10K. Then I felt guilty...road running and the treadmill are completely different. I'm just ripping myself off and this is good practice for the last few kilometres of the marathon when I likely will feel the same way. I kept thinking mind over matter so put my big girl panties on and went home, got changed into a singlet and the dreaded spandex running shorts and started out again.

I don't think I've run a more difficult 10K. I started to get a blister on my left foot, and I was walking a lot which I never do on our runs. I've never felt that drained before! I suppose this is maybe a small taste of what "hitting the wall" might be like. It was like every cell in my body was sapped. I'd even had a few Gu Chomps which didn't seem to help. I kept thinking that the marathon is almost three times what I ran today so hopefully on the big day I don't have an off day like I did today!

I felt pretty down after the run but thought hey....the good thing is that I didn't quit, and my knee felt good with no achiness or twinges, so that was great. Always gotta look for the silver lining, right?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Whisky Tango Foxtrot?

I gotta ask...what is the world coming to these days?

Just want to warn that this is gonna be a bit of a rant - the nice little Asian lady is feelin' a little feisty about today's topic. So a few weeks ago, Vancouver had their annual Sun Run - a happy event where fifty thousand people run or walk their little hearts out on a gorgeous sunny day with family and friends, and then get to revel in their accomplishment and celebrate their success. I guess at this event, some freak decides to stab a runner in the face. At first the news reported it was just a superficial cut - but I read today that this poor guy's cheekbone was cut and the knife touched his brain causing bleeding and swelling. He was in intensive care, but he's out now.

Can you imagine - here you are just finishing a great run and picking your stuff up at the baggage claim and some psycho freak from hell comes out of nowhere and stabs you in the face for shits and giggles. Apparently this waste of skin has a history of violence and decides to pick on some poor guy who was minding his own business. The part that gives me a little hope in the human race is that a bunch of people around saw it happen and chased the stabber down. I guess this incident kind of got to me because I thought wow...this could have so easily been Hubs or my FIL.

Throw the book at him, Danno....that's all I gotta say.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Clean Eating Redux

Ahhhh...I knew I would forget to mention something in my crippled state yesterday. The finger is much better today and typing on it now is slightly uncomfortable rather than excruciatingly unbearable. As long as the nail is OK - I'm good with losing toenails for my sport but I kinda like my fingernails, thanks.

I totally forgot to talk about a fantastic source of clean eating for anyone out there who is interested - check out Clean Eating magazine. Lots of informative articles, clean recipes (lots of vegetarian friendly ones) and other cool stuff. I started reading it probably about a year or so ago and love love love it! I've tried quite a few of the recipes and they're pretty tasty and fairly simple to make. A neat thing they do is they have two week or monthly menu plans with recipes, complete with a grocery shopping list - so all you have to do is get all the necessary ingredients, whip up the meals according to the recipes and voila! Easy peasy - no brainer clean eating. And quite often they'll do special menu plans where they keep the meals at a certain cost for those who are on a budget. Eating clean can get expensive (has anyone seen the price of chicken breast lately?!) so I like that they keep cost in mind. Two huge thumbs up from this foodie!

Ohhh...also forgot to mention - I've officially registered for the marathon now. Funny, I think I've been putting it off because it's kind of scary but now it's real. I'm committed. I'm so doing this!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Clean Eating

I'm going to qualify this first - if today's entry is full of typos, it's because I majorly, super crazy badly slammed my left middle finger in my cabinet at work. You know that kind of pain that takes your breath away and you actually have to hunch over and hold the offending area, all the while grimacing with tears in your eyes? That was me this morning. It took every ounce of strength in my being to not scream out a bunch of expletives - I'm sure my boss would have loved that. My finger hurt all day and it hurts to type, but because I know you're all waiting with bated breath for my next entry, here I am.

As part of my focus on a healthier lifestyle, I took a close look at what I was eating - or rather, what I wasn't eating. As I'd mentioned earlier in this blog, I would basically starve myself to keep my weight down - not good, as what I didn't know was that I was killing my metabolism. My eating improved when I started focussing on my health about three years ago but it still wasn't quite where I wanted to be. Enter clean eating!

I had heard about the clean eating concept but decided to investigate it further. I bought Tosca Reno's "Eat Clean Diet" and realized all the things I wasn't doing - focussing on unprocessed, fresh food and eating small, balanced meals through out the day. For those of you who don't know who Tosca Reno is, she looked like this before:

And here she is after clean eating:

This woman is 50 years old!! Sign me up!! Generally, the clean eating principles are:
  1. Eat 5 or 6 small meals every day
  2. Eat every 2 to 3 hours
  3. Combine lean protein and complex carbs at each meal
  4. Drink at least 2L of water each day
  5. Never miss a meal, especially breakfast
  6. Avoid all over processed, refined foods, especially white flour and sugar
  7. Avoid saturated and trans fats
  8. Avoid sugar loaded colas and juices
  9. Consume adequate healthy fats each day
  10. Avoid alcohol - another form of sugar
  11. Avoid all calories dense foods that contain little to no nutritional value
  12. Depend on fresh fruits and veggies for fibre, vitamines and enzymes
  13. Stick to proper portion sizes - avoid super sizing

When I first read this I thought, this is it? It just makes too much sense! I've heard that that losing or maintaining a healthy weight is 80% nutrition, 10% exercise and 10% genetics and that old saying "you are what you eat" really is true. I've tried to incorporate the clean eating lifestyle and while I'm not definitely perfect (I love salty snacks and I do love me some McDonalds - my dirty little secret), I'm definitely a lot better than I used to be. And if I eating clean means I'll be able to rock a red bikini like Tosca one day, I'm in!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mmmmmmmoms and Mmmmmmexi-Lasagna

What a fabulous today we had today! The perfect spring day for the Vancouver Sun Run (apparently fifty thousand runners - wow!) and for all the moms out there who are getting spoiled today for Mother's Day - hope all you moms out there had a wonderful day! I slept in today until about 9-ish as I'd done a lot of the food prep on Saturday as Hubs was out for the day. The extra sleep was much needed and I felt refreshed when I got up. I'd heard Sunday was supposed to be fabulous so didn't want to spend all day inside cooking. I wanted to get out in the garden - we have weeds galore so I'm trying to get them under control before they take over. I did a quick 30 minute workout on the stationery bike, and then toodled off to finish up on the last few dishes for our weekly cooking. One of the dishes that makes our regular rotation is this mexican lasagna from Eat, Shrink and Be Merry - another delish, healthy recipe from the Podleski sisters. The recipe calls for ground chicken, but I usually use extra lean ground beef...but I'm sure you could sub in ground turkey or veggie ground round for all the vegetarians out there. I've even made it without the cheese (gasp!) and it was still delish. It makes a big pan and freezes really, really well so I highly recommend this one.

No Weigh Jose! Mexican Lasagna - from Eat, Shrink and Be Merry

1-1/2 lbs extra-lean ground beef
1 cup each diced red onions and diced green bell pepper
2 tsp minced garlic
1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup diced tomatoes
1/2 cup frozen or canned corn
1-1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
2 cups your favorite tomato pasta sauce
1 cup medium salsa
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp minced fresh cilantro
4 large or 8 small whole wheat flour tortillas
1-1/2 cups packed shredded light old (sharp) cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped green onions

Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish with cooking spray and set aside.

In a large, non-stick pot or skillet, cook ground beef, onions, green pepper, and garlic over medium-high heat until meat is no longer pink. Break up any large pieces of beef as it’s cooking.

Add black beans, tomatoes, corn, chili powder, and cumin. Cook and stir for 2 more minutes. Add pasta sauce, salsa, and black pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in cilantro and remove from heat.

To assemble lasagna, spread 1/3 sauce mixture over bottom of casserole dish. Top with 1/2 the tortillas, overlapping and cutting them as necessary to fit. Top with 1/3 sauce mixture, followed by 1/2 the cheese. Cover cheese with remaining tortillas, followed by remaining sauce. Sprinkle remaining cheese over sauce and top with green onions. Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 more minutes. Let lasagna stand for at least 10 minutes before slicing for easier serving. Top each piece with a dollop of sour cream if desired.

per serving (8 in recipe) - 319 calories, 7.9g fat, 31g protein, 30g carbs, 5.5 fibre

Just had to give our hometown boy Steve Nash a nod today - they won against the Spurs to get into the Western Conference semi-finals! The awesome thing was that Steve had a massive shiner after being elbowed by Tim Duncan (for all you non-basketball fans, Tim Duncan is a giant). His eye was swollen shut but he continued to play and STILL made all his shots....that's our boy!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

14K - Yo Rocked It Yo

OK, maybe I didn't ROCK it...but I felt pretty good the whole way and my energy was strong. We had to get up at 6am again because Hubs had to be at a meeting at 9am. I was feeling a bit like crap because I had a few drinks Friday night (making me dehydrated), plus I cheated and had gobs of delicious, oooey gooey dairy. My stomach was definitely feeling a bit crappy and my face was puffy. When the alarm went off, this is the mental fight I had:

Head: Hey dude. It's time to get up and get out there! It's a gorgeous day for a run.

Body: Bugger off. I was up at 5am yesterday and got to bed late last night. Not to mention the sangria and martini that we had a dinner - think that was your idea.

Head: You can't blow this off!! You have to stay on schedule.

Body: Meh....this bed is nice and warm and I'm sooooo tired after all the hillwork on Friday's bootcamp.

Head: You're gonna feel sooooo guilty if you don't get your ass up...

Body: &*#&$ off!!!

Once I finally got myself up, we headed out around 6:15am and it was a gorgeous morning. Cool and crisp. My legs felt fairly light, but I had to really slow down my pace towards the end as my knee was giving me some grief and was starting to ache. Overall pace was around 6:15 min/km so I'm happy with that. As I was running, I started thinking about a question that one of my fellow bootcampers asked me on Friday, when we were talking about the whole marathon gig - "why the hell do you want to do a marathon?!" I laughed at the time and didn't really answer but as I was alone with thoughts for an hour and a half I started thinking about it and came up with this list:

1. It's on my bucket list of things to do before I die
2. I have to have goals - being aimless drives me crazy so this is a natural progression from the 10K and half marathon distance
3. It's the ultimate test of my body and endurance
4. When I finish the marathon, I'm gonna get a tattoo

Yep, that's right! To commemorate this event, I'm going to get a tattoo - I think on my foot. I haven't thought of exactly what...maybe the date (kinda cool, the marathon is on Oct 10/2010, so 10/10/10) or a stylized 42.2 or 26.2. Anyways, we'll see, I haven't come across the perfect thing yet....and suggestions are welcome....

Thursday, May 6, 2010

I Heart You Jamie Oliver

OK, I can you not love this face? And his cute lisp?

Besides being cute as a button, I have to give Jamie Oliver kudos for getting people to think more about what they feed their kids. I watched his documentary called "Jamie's School Dinners", where he's trying to improve the quality and nutritional value of the school lunch programs in England. This was so incredibly interesting to watch - firstly because I couldn't believe the crap that people are OK with feeding their kids, and secondly I was astonished that the kids that he was working with didn't know what some basic fruits and veggies were. However, they had absolutely no problem identifying fish and chips or chicken mcnuggets. There was one part of the show where Jamie fed this little boy a strawberry and he puked and started crying and saying the strawberry was gross. How can a delicious, ripe, juicy sweet strawberry be gross? The other interesting thing was that so many adults were against him as well. Amazing. I guess change is hard, but why wouldn't you want to feed your kids healthy, nutritious food?

After he finally managed to institute some change with how Britons feed their kids, Jamie took his cause to the States and came across the exact same thing. In the new documentary called Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, he ground up all the crappiest crap like fat, bones, gristle, added a bunch of fillers and formed it into a chicken nugget-like shape and asked a bunch of kids if they would eat it. Like Jamie, I was floored when they said yes. So sad. I guess I'm just so impressed that he's not just in it for the fame and money, but it seems like Jamie actually cares about the future generation of kids (and adults, for that matter) being healthy.

Jamie, you rock.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Happy Hump Day and Stuff

SOooooo happy that Wednesday is here. I got my butt up bright and early this morning to go to bootcamp and felt pretty darn spritely all day today. We did a lot of running so I was trying to run at a faster pace to work on my speed but my legs were feeling really heavy this morning - I actually had to stop after about 2K and walk. I've been feeling really tired lately and I think it's actually the lack of exercise that's making me lethargic. I guess that's the fine line between "taper" and "slackass". I'm also back on my "meds" as Hubs likes to call it - I was sporadic in taking my supplements but am back on the wagon. Here's a list of what I take each day:

- vitamin D
- coenzyme Q10
- omega 3 fish oil
- Adrenal Assist
- multivitamin
- trace minerals (supposed to help with immune system)

- glass of Greens+ extra energy/probiotics/calcium powder

All in all it's about a dozen pills, 4 of which are huge. MASSIVE. I have this terrible paranoia about taking pills and have to psyche myself up, and I won't take them when I'm by myself in case I choke and someone has to give me the heimlich maneuver. Yep, I'm weird like that. Overall, the meds are really helping - I've noticed huge difference in my skin (mostly from the fish oil) and I'm sleeping way better...I used to have a hard time staying asleep at night but when I started taking the Greens+, I've been sleeping through the night for months now. I'm sold.

The pictures came out today for the 10K race I ran a week and half ago. All I can say is gaaaaaaaaaahhhh! I look like I'm trying to catch mouth is hanging open in all of them, I look pained and I'm seriously, seriously regretting my choice of gear. I didn't realize that spandex running shorts were not my friend. Note to self - must pick up a new pair of running shorts or a running skirt....lululemon, here I come.

Oh. And I promise soon that there will be pics added to the blog....I just gotta figure out how to download the pics off my camera. Hee.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Ten Goals for 2010

Since the year is now a third over (is it just me or is time going by faster and faster?), I thought I'd take stock of how I'm doing so far with my goals for 2010. These are kinda like resolutions, but calling them resolutions just sets me up for failure....goals just sounds so much better, n'est ce pas?

So here are my goals for 2010:
  1. Run a marathon - I'm all over this one!

  2. Run a sub 2 hour half marathon - sadly, not going to hit this one...I was going to do a spring half but that was kiboshed with my knee injury *sigh*

  3. Wear a bikini in Hawaii - I would only do this where no one knows me so no one needs to go blind, ha ha! We're going in June so haven't done this one yet but I'm planning on it (oh god)

  4. Pay attention to my health i.e. allergies, headaches - so far so good on this one...I'm no longer singlehandedly keeping Excedrin in business

  5. Run 10K in sub 55 minutes - DONE!!! WOOT!!!

  6. Think of what I'm grateful for every day - OK, maybe I haven't done it every day, but most days. I'll say I'm doing pretty good on this one

  7. Read one book a month - R, are you reading this? Baaahaaa. I'm at three books so far so I'm falling behind...I'll catch up though!

  8. Eat clean i.e. no dairy or eggs - I got tested for allergies awhile back and turns out I'm super sensitive to dairy and eggs. I would say I'm 90% good on this one...I can't resist a bit of dairy now and then and a girl's gotta live a little...but oh how I miss you tasty, tasty cheese

  9. Get my back in shape - doing pretty good (knock on wood) on this one. I have hypermobility issues with my back so my neck/ribs were coming out of place constantly. I'm going to chiro/physio/massage regularly, started yoga to increase my flexibility and doing my back exercises and so far, so good

  10. Eat more veggies - I've upped our veggie intake significantly this year so I'm totally rocking this one

Hmmm...I'm not doin' too bad! I think it really is true, if you write your goals down you're more likely to achieve them because they're right there, in black and white. Accountability is the name of the game. I'll be checking back in August and I'll let you all know if I did up wearing that bikini in Maui or if I tooootally chickened out.

Monday Monday

On a windy rainy Monday, I thought I'd start off with a shout out to all the folks who ran the BMO Marathon in Vancouver yesterday. The weather wasn't the best and it was rainy, but they went out and did an awesome job - so cheers to my FIL, Vic (mwah), Adrien (3:45 - you rocked it girl) and all the others who went out there and got 'er done - nice work! A little extra special shout out to my FIL who's an avid runner and doing marathons at age 65 - I sure hope I can do that when I'm his age.

As with a lot of other runners, the ultimate dream is to qualify for the Boston Marathon. This is on my "bucket list" and an absolute dream of mine. Qualifying time for someone my age is to do a marathon in 3 hours, 45 minutes which would mean I would have to run at a 5:20 min/km pace for 42K. My average 10K pace was 5:30 min/km so I can't even fathom keeping up that kind of pace for four times the distance. I've got a lot of work ahead of me but I'm GONNA do it one day...I'm just gonna put that little thought out to the universe and see what she does with it.

The thing that always boggles my mind when I look at my pace is that the elites can run this thing in the same time it takes me to do a half marathon...most of their times are around the 2hr-ish mark meaning they're running at a pace of around 3:00 min/km. Like these guys and gals are pretty much sprinting for 42K. I don't know if I could even do that pace for 42 feet, let alone 42K! The kick and turnover they must have in their legs is crazy and they must be in such amazing shape. I was watching "Spirit of the Marathon" and this guy was saying that his treadmill didn't even go that fast.

Now THAT is awe inspiring.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

When the Moon Hits Your Eye, Like A Big Pizza Pie.....

Normally Sundays are my "cooking" day, where I prep or prepare all the dinners for the week so I don't have to cook during the weekdays. I started doing this about 5 or 6 years ago and its worked well so far for us and we're eating much more healthy. We used to get groceries each night and would always end up getting starchy carbs for dinner that were quick to make (i.e. chow mein, instant noodles, KD) and then while we were preparing dinner we'd inhale a bag of chips or snack on crackers. Uhhhh...not that healthy. And no wonder that our waistlines kept expanding. I'm inherently kinda lazy, so the thought of coming home and preparing dinner makes me tired.

I didn't used to like cooking much and prided myself on being an undomestic goddess. Slowly though, I ended up really loving it and look forward to the Sunday morning marathon cooking session. I pore over cookbooks looking for recipes and love testing them out on Hubs. One of the best sources of healthy, easy to make and tasty recipes is the cookbook "Eat, Shrink and Be Merry" by Janet and Greta Podleski. Seriously, this cookbook is a staple in my house and there is this killer pizza recipe in it that is awesome. I've adapted it a little, but its vegetarian and uses hummus as the protein source. Sounds odd, but it is deeelicious...and you don't miss the meat. Hubs even loves it and he is a meatatarian - that's how good this is. So without further delay, here's the recipe....

Born to be Wild Mushroom Pizza (adapted from ESBM)

1 19 0z can tomatoes with italian herbs
2 tsp olive oil
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced red onion
1 tsp garlic
5 cups sliced mushrooms (you can use cremini or portobellos, I just use regular button ones)
small can black olives
1 sliced green pepper
2 tsp minced fresh thyme and rosemary, or 1/2 tsp dried
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup hummus
1 12 inch prebaked thin crust pizza shell with sauce packet (or buy a can if it doesn't come with it)
3/4 cup mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Drain tomatoes in a sieve, pressing down to remove as much liquid as possible.

Heat olive oil in a skillet, add 1 cup of onions (set aside 1/2 cup of onions for topping) and garlic. Cook until onions have softened. Add 4 cups mushrooms (set aside 1 cup of mushrooms for topping), and cook until mushrooms are tender. Stir in thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper. cook 1 more minute and remove from heat.

To assemble pizza, spread hummus over pizza crust, leaving a 1/2 inch border. Open pizza sauce packet and spread on top of hummus. Top with the drained tomatoes. Spread cooked mushroom mixture on top. Layer with the reserved raw mushrooms, raw sliced red onion and sliced green pepper. Top with cheese and black olives. I put a little olive oil on the edge crust but you don't have to. :)

Bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until cheese is melted.

1 slice (8 slices in a pizza) - 192 calories, 7.3 g fat, 22 g carbs, 2.7 g fibre, 424 mg sodium.

Seriously....try this pizza! We're actually having it for dinner tonight. The original doesn't use the sauce packet or the extra mushrooms/onions/green pepper/black olives, but I did it one day as I had some extra veggies leftover and it just added an extra dimension. The original recipe is pretty darn awesome too.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

12K - Check!

I suppose since this blog is supposed to be about running, I should start off with a little bit about the marathon training that I'll be doing for the next 5 months. Last Sunday was our local 10K race, which I took part in and did a personal best of 54:17 (woot - go me!). I injured myself a few months ago on a long run with a meniscal irritation/tear of the knee, and had just built myself back up to a 10K distance with no pain (I'd trained up to 25K, grrr!) so it was one of those tough, grinding races. Anyways, I was tired and feeling pretty burnt out, so took this whole week off working out. Yes, you heard me right...I blew off working out! Sometimes I think your body is just saying take it easy, and I figured since today is May 1st and is my first long run to train for the marathon - it was a nice clean start. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Our first training run was 12K - we actually ended up running 13K as we ran our around neighbourhood and we do this little loop that's about 3.3K. Hubs had to go out at 9am so we had to get up at the ungodly hour of 6am to get out there. I know, 6am ain't that early but it is for a weekend! It took us about 1:20:00 to do the 13K, as we were maybe running 6:15 mins/km land/speed records here but whatev!

So far, I'm thinking my training plan is going to be something like this:

Sunday - cross training - biking/strength training
Mon/Wed/Fri - bootcamp
Thurs - yoga - runners are notorious for being inflexible
Saturday - long runs

I'm not doing a clinic because it seems most of them do their long runs on Sunday and that doesn't work for Hubs. I'm lucky, Hubs runs as well so we do our runs together which is awesome. He'll be training for the half marathon distance so on the super long runs he'll rollerblade with me. We're following a training plan that we got off the website of the marathon we're running, so the long runs that we're scheduled to do look something like this:

Week 1: 12K
Week 2: 14K
Week 3: 16K
Week 4: 14K
Week 5: 18K
Week 6: 14K
Week 7: 20K
Week 8: 14K
Week 9: 22K
Week 10: 24K
Week 11: 15K
Week 12: 26K
Week 13: 28K
Week 14: 16K
Week 15: 30K (crap)
Week 16: 32K (am I crazy?)
Week 17: 15K
Week 18: 35K (gulp!!)
Week 19: 30K
Week 20: 22K
Week 21: 28K
Week 22: 12K
Week 23: RACE DAY!!

Heh. I've never seen it written out like that so it's a little scary. OK, pep talk time - I can DO THIS!